You might just have to wait until you are grown up. I know you want one right now, but keep with the riding lessons.
I was a horse crazy kid, my dad always though the horses were just a phase I was going through. I began riding lessons when I was 6, began jumping at age 11, did some small shows. Switched barns and began riding Arabians, began showing Class A when I was 14, began teaching lessons when I was 16. My dad still didn't want to buy me a horse though I was serious and by then a competent rider.
Moved out on my own at 17, leased a horse. Personal problems came up, I broke up with my fiance, he started doing cocaine and made my life dangerous so I had to move up north. I found a stable to ride other people's horses but still didn't have my own.
Before I turned 19, I tracked down the owner of the horse I had leased and bought her, working at a ranch in exchange for board. I never could have done that if I had not had all that experience with riding and horses. That horse is now my Avatar on here. I had to wait before I found her, but she was worth it.
Maybe it's not the right time. Keep riding lessons, volunteer at a horse rescue or with therapeutic riding. Offer to be a junior counselor at a horse camp. Help horsey friends with their horses. There is a lot more to it than just riding, maybe that's why your dad doesn't want another horse. You need to learn about horse management and a lot more than just riding. I don't know how old you are, but please learn some patience and heed the advice from others on the forum. Many of us have been in that position.
Use this time! You are young and you don't hae your own horse, use this opportunity to learn to ride many different horses and try out different ways of riding. I'm so used to my horse and distance riding that any different horse or style takes me awhile to adapt. Life doesn't end at 20, you have many years ahead of you to ride and enjoy horses. Many women I know ride 50 mile endurance rides into their 60s and Louise Reidel rode into her 90s.
Agreed. I'm 52 years old, and my DH and I, each, never had a horse when we were young, but always wanted one. Now, we've had a small herd for 25 years. Our 3 DD's like to ride--one even bought the mare in my Avatar, so it's HER horse, really, but I take care of her mare. All of them enjoy the horses. None of them want to keep them if we were to suddenly pass away. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and start studying! When I was young I read loads of books on horses--I could recommend some. I knew ALL the breeds worldwide, and I could recite TB bloodlines before I graduated from high school.
michickenwrangler is right about almost all of the above. I say that because I knew friends with horses (when I was a teenager, and some of them were quite miserly about sharing, so brush your rejections off and find people who DO need help. For instance, if you lived near me, I might have you over to help. I've just bought a 4 yr old QH (not registered, so he's technically "grade"), and he needs ground work while I wait for my farrier appointment in a few weeks. (Feet are too long and he was kicked and pulled up lame. He's moving fine, now, but it doesn't make sense to put my weight on him until the feet are fixed.)
You could learn SO much if you got involved with a show stable, and volunteered to groom at shows. You could become very popular because there is a need. Plus you'll learn what is expected in grooming for any future showing.
I am a music major, piano and voice, but I'm NOT the musician that my eldest daughter is. SHE listens thoroughly to a piece before she plays it. I often jump headlong into a piece of music, then learn wrong notes/wrong chord progressions, and it takes twice as long to relearn a piece. It is EXACTLY the same with horsemanship. If you observe, you will learn faster.
We on this forum believe that you're as "horse-crazy" as we are! And, we believe that you won't outgrow it.
I agree with michiganwrangler! I took lessons from the time I was about five or six and never thought I'd actually get a horse. I just loved horses! My dad surprised me when I was ten and took my family to an auction to buy my first horse. We were lucky and she turned out to be a good one, but we lost her in an accident about 5 years ago. After that, my dad bought another horse so I could still trail ride, but it turned out that my dad and the horse clicked better than I did. I thought I would be horse less until I could afford my own, but again luck came my way and my current horse found me. Sometimes you just have to be patient!
Horses are definitely a big expense, but you could always look into leasing a horse. You could always try to get a job to pay for the lease yourself. In this economy I see a lot of horses available for very cheap lease because it helps pay for the feed and vet bills. This is a good option for people just starting into horses.
I can tell you that if it wasn't for my dad's interest (both physically and monetary!) in the horses, I would not be able to afford owning one at this time. I know that when I move out of my house after college, I probably will not be able to afford a horse until I get settled financially. There's nothing wrong with getting back into horses when you are older! many of the people I know started in their 30's, 40's, and 50's.
Also, look into joining a 4-H club! Sometimes they will do week long horse camps and other campers will share their horses. Also, I used to participate in horse judging and hippology, both awesome competitions and you don't need a horse to participate! There was also Horse Bowl which was sort of like jeopardy. We used to learn about showing, cleaning tack, and a host of other things and I met new people in the process. Definitely something to look into to cure your itch for a horse! There were many people in our club that did not have horses, but were able to participate in just about everything.
Yup, what they said. Don't fuss about what it happens you *can't* do/have right now -- focus on doing what you CAN.
You already have lots and lots more opportunities than most kids... a lot of kids can't even get riding lessons, don't live somewhere they could keep a horse, live in the city where there aren't horses *around*, or their families are trying just to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.
If you can go clean stalls at someone's barn, and sweep the aisle, and clean tack, then maybe they will learn how responsible you are and let you start helping out more with the horses; and riding lessons are always EXCELLENT, the more different horses you ride the better a horseman you'll become and the more ready you'll be when you are in a position to get a horse of your own.
Quite honestly, when I was a kid I would have done ANYTHING for a horse but it was out of the question, although I was fortunate enough to be able to do riding lessons and eventually exercise/school other peoples' horses... I did not get a horse of my OWN til I was 27, and quite frankly my progress as a rider slowed down considerably at that point since then I quit riding so many other horses
YOu are luckier than you think. Quit whinin' and take advantage of the opportunities you DO have, and eventually you WILL get a horse, even if you have to grow up and get a job adn buy it yourself
Horses are expensive, especially the way the economy is right now. Just because you had a horse once, does not mean your family still has enough money for one now. And your parents have to consider the future--what happens if your parents lose their job(s) or get a pay cut down the road? If they spend all their savings on the horse, they would be in trouble then.
Sure, you can buy horses for cheap all over. But there's a reason for them being cheap right now. It's because feed, tack, boarding, training, and veterinary costs are sky high and people can't afford their horses now. Your parents likely have a lot of bills to pay, and don't feel they can afford that extra expense for something that is such a luxury. It can cost several hundred dollars a month to keep a horse. I had to give up owning a horse for that very reason, but am fortunate to be able to ride my neighbor's horses.
Keep taking lessons and enjoy horses that way. At least you can do less work and spend less money that way. If you owned a horse, you would spend a lot of time working to care for it--and then be sometimes too tired to enjoy a ride! Maybe when you are old enough to take a part-time job or work in the summer, you could start saving up some money towards getting a horse. If your parents see how responsible you are at your job, and saving money, and that you are really committed to caring for a horse by sticking with the lessons and not complaining a lot, they might give in, especially if you can continue to earn money to pay for at least a good portion of the horse's upkeep. And just think, the longer you take lessons, the more prepared you will be and the more you will know when you actually can get your own horse. And that's a good thing!
Meme, here's the story of a girl who rides at our barn.
J took riding lessons at a Tennessee Walker show barn near us. When the barn owner sold out, her mother (who had a horse) came to our barn and J continued to take lessons. When Mom saw she was serious, she got her an old Quarter Horse gelding, who died of old age 9 months later (he was 26). Mom then got her a snappy little racking horse mare, who died of sand colic 6 months later and she was only 9 yrs old!
Once J got over her mare, she began riding competitive trail with me, went to a few rides (did quite well) and also took my little mare to a few shows. She then wanted back into gaited horses and showed the trainer's old plantation-shod gelding last year. This year, she helps around the stable, cleaning stalls and helping to water the horses. She's only 13 years old.
Again, take advantage of your youth to learn, one day you'll have a horse
meme I was like you and wanted a horse so badly when I was younger. Like you, my parents always said no because of the expense. I didn't understand how expensive it is to own one. I had to wait until I was all grown up before I could have my first horse. They are really expensive. It is not just the cost of buying a horse, it is the farrier bills (about every six weeks), the feed bills, vet bills, worming, vaccinations, boarding if you can't keep them on your property and the list goes on. On top of all of that you really need to understand how to take care of a horse before you own one. It is not the same as owning a small pet like a cat or dog. I would take the suggestions of the other people who have answered your question and learn as much as you possibly can before you ever get a horse. I was so very lucky that when I was able to get my first horse, at the age of 37, because I had many wonderful people around me to teach me how to take care of her. I now have five horses and I am still learning but I finally feel comfortable enough to keep them on my property. Don't let go of your dream, just know that it may take a long time to get to the goal.